The blogging world is quite a phenomenon, if you ask me. As soon as I turn on my computer, I am able to peer into the lives of all kinds of people: how they design their bedrooms, what they're cooking for dinner, what their political convictions are, what costumes their kids wore for Halloween. I can celebrate a new marriage with them, grieve the loss of a loved one, or be inspired by a craft they made or a lesson they learned.
And yet, at the end of the day, I'm just a girl sitting at my computer who will most likely never meet the girl sitting at her computer somewhere else in the world.
Another facet to this phenomenon is that I can write anything I want to on this little blog of mine and you may get the idea that it's the whole picture of who I am. I can show you the beautiful highs of my life and you may get the picture that everything in my world is pretty close to perfect. In fact, it would be much easier to just stay behind the computer screen. I could make lots and lots of blogger friends and we could comment on each other's blogs and boost each other's egos. It would be so much easier than stepping out and being a real life friend. Much easier than enduring awkward silence. Much easier than unraveling our pasts and revealing our brokenness.
But you know what? That stepping out is authenticity. That is what I want. And that, as I've been recently convicted, is what we're called to as believers.
I listened to a sermon today by Tim Keller about friendship. I could go on and on about what I learned, but ultimately, I came away with the strong conviction that I could be such a better friend than I am. I blame lots of things for not staying in touch with those I am closest to. Mainly, I'm just so busy. What I realized today, though, is that "I'm too busy" is not going to cut it. Relationships, like very few things in this world, have eternal impact. And what am I so busy with anyway? Work and school, yes. Being a wife, yes. All the other stuff? It can wait. If I'm not spending time pouring into someone or having them pour into my life because I'm catching up on emails or working on a blog post, there's just something wrong.
It makes me sad when I hear news about close friends through their blogs before I hear it straight from them. It makes me sad when one of my friends tells me, "Oh yeah, I read that on your blog" when I should have told them first. There's just no substitute for face to face, real life relationship. And whether you're blogging as a hobby or as a profession, I think that truth applies to you.
So in my own life, some things are going to change. Whatever pressure I was feeling to blog a certain number of times per week, to blog about specific subjects that elicit more comments, to have a certain number of followers... all of that is over right now. I want the first purpose of my blog to glorify my Lord Jesus Christ. But if I'm not serving Him well with good use of my time, how can my blog be glorifying to Him? My other purpose in blogging is to document our lives so that years down the road, Shawn and I (and, Lord willing, our children and grandchildren) will see the unmistakable goodness and grace of God in our story. And that's it! Those are the purposes. When I put things into perspective like that, it's so freeing!
I read this verse this morning and in light of what I've been thinking about, it really stood out to me:
His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his delight in the legs of the warrior;
the LORD delights in those who fear him,
who put their hope in his unfailing love.
I could reword it like this:
His pleasure is not in my Microbiology grade... nor his delight in what I cook for dinner... how clear my photos turn out... how well I portray myself to the watching world...
The Lord delights in me because I fear him, because I put my hope in his unfailing love.
Isn't that so freeing when we put our priorities in order? It is for me!
At the end of my life, I want to look back and see myself living the adventure of the Christian life to the very fullest, walking closely with the Lord, loving and serving my husband with passion and joy, loving on my family and friends until they can hardly stand it, and giving of my time and resources to the poor. I don't just want to read about other people doing these things, I want to be in on it!
In light of all of that, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Don't worry, I won't be offended if you completely disagree with my perspective. But I'd love to know, if you're a blogger, how you balance these things? How do you live in the tension?